Adding Spoiler TV to my Google Reader was a pretty good idea. The site seems to have an in with a casting director somewhere, as they get all sorts of casting notices. The latest has put the internet in an uproar: a red-headed baby for Spider-Man 4!

Could this be Peter and Mary Jane’s child, everyone wonders. Could it be that Spider-Man 4 opens with Pete and MJ not just married but settled down?

I doubt it. A lot. I don’t have any special information on this one, but the idea of opening the next Spidey movie that in media res doesn’t quite gibe for me. We’re skipping huge and important chunks of Peter Parker’s life, and huge chunks that could be dramatic and interesting. If I had to guess, I’d say that Mary Jane has a nephew/niece who comes into her life, and Peter has to figure out how to be Spider-Man while still taking care of this kid. Or at the very least the kid raises the specter of the couple’s future.

If this baby is Peter and Mary Jane’s, it wouldn’t be without precedent. During the very dark (and I don’t mean tonally, I mean for the fans) Clone Saga, Peter knocked up MJ; the kid was stillborn, but survived in an alternate reality and was a daughter. I don’t think the kid has ever been brought up again in the regular Marvel Universe; like much of what happened to Spider-Man in the 90s and early 00s it’s too lame to include in continuity. This is why you’ll never again read about how Spider-Man once bit a guy to death.

Making this baby be Peter and MJ’s actual kid feels like bad storytelling to me. Having Peter go through the crisis of conscience over whether or not he wants to risk bringing a baby into his life, and whether or not he’d have to give up being Spider-Man and, most importantly, whether or not that baby would be a mutant freak thanks to dad’s spider-powers, would make for an interesting installment in the film series.